Your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy depends on choosing the right keywords. For that, you need a proven SEO keyword research tool. That’s why we’re compiling this year’s top keyword search tools for SEO. See which platforms made our list below!
Semrush is an integrated digital marketing and SEO platform that offers tools and data to help users enhance their online presence and marketing efforts. It includes features like keyword research, site audits, backlink analysis, and competitive research to assist businesses in optimizing their online strategies and improving their website’s visibility.
Best for: Large organizations, digital marketing agencies, and online marketing consultants looking for an all-in-one digital marketing platform.
- All-in-one suite for digital marketing, from SEO to paid advertising
- In-depth keyword research, plus SEO audits, competitor insights, and more
- Extensive keyword database
- Keyword tracking
- Regular tool updates
- Too expensive for small businesses and individual webmasters
- Learning curve in understanding the various toolkits
Ahrefs is a web-based SEO tool known for its comprehensive features, including backlink analysis, keyword research, competitive analysis, and site auditing, designed to help users improve their website’s search engine visibility and online marketing efforts. It’s widely used by SEO professionals and website owners to gain insights, optimize their online strategies, and monitor their competition.
Best for: Large organizations, SEO agencies, and SEO consultants looking for an SEO toolkit.
- Custom keyword metrics, like traffic potential
- Keyword search volume tracking, including zero-volume keywords
- Keyword tracking
- Large keyword database
- Additional SEO tools, like audits, competitor research, and more
- Unpopular credit-based pricing model
- Too expensive for smaller sites and businesses
3. Google Trends
Google Trends is a free tool provided by Google that allows users to track and analyze the popularity of search queries and topics over time. Google Trends helps users understand search trends, discover related queries, and make data-driven decisions for content creation and marketing strategies.
Best for: Webmasters looking for a free keyword research tool for SEO.
- Real-time insights
- Extensive historical database
- Keyword comparison
- Regional keyword data
- Easy to use
- Zero keyword metrics
- No way to save keywords
4. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension and SEO tool that provided keyword data, including search volume and CPC, while users are browsing the web, particularly on search engine result pages and various websites.
Best for: Small and midsized businesses, plus webmasters looking for an affordable, effective solution.
- Displays results on other platforms, like YouTube and Google Search Console
- Provides keyword data in search results
- Cost-effective pricing
- Lower data accuracy than paid keyword research tools for SEO
- Fewer features than SEO software suites like Ahrefs or Semrush
5. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free web service by Google that provides website owners and webmasters with tools and reports to monitor and optimize their website’s performance in Google search results. It offers insights into search traffic, indexing, site errors, and security issues, helping users improve their online presence and address any potential issues affecting their site’s visibility.
Best for: Everyone practicing SEO on their site. This keyword research tool is a must!
- Find keyword opportunities based on your site’s performance
- Get search performance data, like impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and more
- No keyword metric data unless paired with another SEO keyword tool like Keywords Everywhere
- Limited to the site owner’s website performance
6. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool within Google Ads used for keyword research and planning advertising campaigns. It provides data on keyword search volume, competition, and forecasts, making it valuable for advertisers, SEO professionals, and content creators looking to optimize their online strategies.
Best for: All business sizes and SEO professionals, though larger organizations will lean towards paid keyword research tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.
- High data accuracy
- Access keyword metrics like search volume, competition, and cost
- Integrates with Google Ads
- Built as a pay-per-click keyword suggestion tool vs. an SEO keyword research tool
- Database focused more on bottom-of-the-funnel search terms
7. Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer is a keyword research tool by Moz, designed to help users discover and analyze keywords for their SEO and content strategies. It provides data on keyword search volume, difficulty, and competitive analysis, aiding in the selection of effective keywords for improved online visibility and content optimization.
Best for: SEO professionals and SEO agencies
- Access keyword metrics, including opportunity score
- Get competitor analysis insights
- View search engine results pages (SERPs) opportunities
- Includes access to a full SEO software suite
- Higher price than other keyword research tools
Start your research with these SEO keyword research tools
With these SEO keyword research tools, you can start finding (and targeting) relevant keywords for your business and growing your visibility in search results. If you need professional help with keyword research and SEO management, consider the award-winning SEO.com team.
FAQs about keyword research tools
Learn more about keyword research tools with these FAQs:
What is a keyword research tool?
A keyword research tool is a free or paid software that provides keyword metrics, like search volume, competitiveness, and cost-per-click (CPC), to help businesses identify the most relevant keywords for their target audience.
Which keyword tool is the most accurate?
Most SEOs will agree that the most accurate keyword tool is a keyword tool for pay-per-click called Google Keyword Planner. People believe Google Keyword Planner is the most accurate because the data comes directly from Google, the largest search engine in the world.
How do I choose the best keyword research tool for me?
You can help your business choose the best keyword research tool for its needs with these tips:
- Outline your budget
- Determine your tool needs
- Demo your top tool choices
- Get your team’s feedback on the tools
The biggest step you can take is getting hands-on experience with the different applications available. If you’re looking at a paid keyword tool, many offer free trials or discounted trials that you can use to experience the software first-hand.
How do I find the best keywords with keyword research tools?
You can find the best keywords with the above keyword research tools by:
- Evaluating the keyword’s metrics, like its search volume and competitiveness
- Researching the keyword’s relevancy to your business and its products or services
- Determine the keyword’s search intent
For more information on this topic, check out our walkthrough on how to choose the best keywords.
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